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Profile of woodenmarvels
I have been away from my magic for quite some time (shame, shame on me). But now I am back -older, maybe wiser, and ready to settle down into a nice routine for church events, parties, etc. I have much experience in Sponge Balls, TT and have some parlor/stage props (Square circle, dove pan, etc). I absolutely LOVE the "Paper balls over the head" routine (I have ordered Slydini's book and Tony Clarks video). I used to be a clown magician years ago. Now I just want to do a nice comedy show, not as a clown, but a little more formal. Can any of you guys (or gals) help me in a couple of areas?
1) How long should a "show" for a church event, maybe even a talent show entry, or for a small to medium school group, etc last? I am thinking 10 to 12 minutes...
2) Should I have background music choreographed to the "show"?
3) I want to include "Paper balls over the head" probably using toilet tissue, sponge magic and some TT illusions along with maybe a cut and restored rope. How should a show like this flow? I want it to be a comedy/magic act but a memorable event for the audience. I don't have a problem writing a brief script and selecting music if needed. I guess I should pick a good opener and a wow closer.
4) I plan to wear nice black slacks, white long sleeve dress shirt, and a black suede magician’s vest.

Thanking all of you in advance for your support.

~MagicAl (Al)
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Sonny Vegas
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Chicago, Illinois - USA
199 Posts

Profile of Sonny Vegas
1. 10-12 minutes for a performance is a bit light. I do understand this is for local and community events, but you got to ask yourself, “How much magic would I like to see from me?"
My magic repertoire has been growing from 5-minute open mike nights to now a solid hour+ of comedy magic. I do not perform an hour straight, but have the routines that can add up to that and beyond. With the comedians I have in my group, (5) we end up doing about 15-30 minute sets for each of us...depending how each comedian is progressing. But remember I work as a part of a longer show and we split the time up accordingly.

2. Music? Maybe some intro/outro music or some music with a certain routine.... example: silk routine with some background music. You could also format a routine if you are going to be a silent magician. You have done clown work before and know how good that works with clowns...Example: Emmett Kelly

3.Write your tricks down...list them and visually perform them. Segways can make or break a transition. As you do your routines, you will fix and revamp your performances so the fit together like a fine puzzle.

4.Look the part...stand out. You are in control and it's your time for the attention. Sounds great!

Best to you Wooden...especially, Have Fun!
Believe in yourself and the magic will come.
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Johnstown, PA
658 Posts

Profile of jkvand
Regarding the time for a show to last, it depends on several factors. If you are only one act among 10 or 20 at a church talent show, you're probably right to keep it to 10-12 minutes. If you're the headliner, though, or only one act of 3 or 4, then you should have a little more time to use. I encourage you in this venture, I do many shows for churches, banquets, etc., and blending comedy and magic works great in venues like that. (as long as you're funny and have a good show!) In addition to routining a set of tricks and presentations, I often also include a comedy bit that is just a joke or a funny story, or a top ten list, or something like that. I try to make it fit the show and provide a transition between tricks, but I always have something that isn't magic, but is just funny. It provides a nice interlude and helps with the pacing of my show. You might try that in your show as well. Get the Michael Finney DVDs for some great examples of blending comedy and magic. He's a master at it! Best of luck!
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